On Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 4:10 PM, Robert Hansen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > On Jun 3, 2013, at 6:18 PM, kirby urner <email@example.com> wrote: > > There's a massive "NIH / NIMBY" syndrome where no specific faculty says > it's their job to stay relevant. The turf battles are between wallowing > dinosaurs sinking in a mud of their own making. > > > This is not about relevance and it isn't about CS versus Algebra. It is > dirt simple. If a student can handle algebraic reasoning then that opens up > opportunity in other like-minded disciplines, even CS. And if they can > handle algebra really well, then they can go on to handle that python math > text. And if they can do neither, well, there are a hundred other things > they can do. This is about who the student is and this is what the purpose > of education needs to return to. > > I think it is. We have a frozen-in-place snap shot of a train wreck of a curriculum inherited from several generations and including layers of reform, counter-reform etc. It's as messed up as religion. Basic finding an unknown, rules of equality, we can call those "algebra skills" and we can keep weaving in that same material. But do we want to carve out two years and call them Algebra 1 and Algebra 2? Mass publishing might think so. I fight for a time when individual schools don't have to care with mass publishing might think.
Your focus is student performance vis-a-vis some status quo, with a desire to talk realistically about failure and success.
My focus is the curriculum itself and the failing job adults have been doing in terms of keeping it meaningful.
Actually you talk about that too but you suffer from all these rigid ideas of what's CS and what's math and what's algebra... ideas we needn't work too hard to get clear on, since we're not planning to go by them anyway ("we" being the reformers in my camp, many of whom urge wider adoption of Python it's true).
> What is the point to replacing the doctrine of algebra with some doctrine > of python or html or sql? There shouldn't be a doctrine at all. At least > not after the first 7 or 8 years. > > Bob Hansen >
The word "doctrine" is being introduced by you, not me. I spoke in terms of tools and calculators being tools. The artifacts one uses make a big difference.
In changing the tool set, we may also need to change / ignore some of the artificial barriers created by the turf-minded to artificially segregate STEM topics. We may choose to slice things up differently as is our prerogative.
Maybe SQL is part of Civilization 101, along with stats and some trig (emphasis on surveying and cartography). High schoolers encouraged to join this distance education course for college credit, but also counts as a 3rd year math class. Lots of geometry and architecture too.